American Airlines extends Boeing 737 MAX cancellations until November

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 15, 2019
A file image of American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 N314RH. (Nathan Coats/Commons Wikimedia)
A file image of American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 N314RH. (Nathan Coats/Commons Wikimedia)

American Airlines has extended the cancellation of its Boeing 737 MAX-operated flights until November 2 2019.

The updated schedules announced on Sunday (US time) is two months later than the airline’s previous cancellation period of the trouble-plagued aircraft until September 3 that was made in June.

American Airlines said the cancellations for its 737 MAX fleet until November 2 2019 represented about 115 flights per day.

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Further, the cancellations would mean customers and team members could more reliably plan their upcoming travel on American.

“American Airlines remains confident that impending software updates to the Boeing 737 MAX, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing in coordination with our union partners, will lead to recertification of the aircraft this year,” American Airlines said.

“We are in continuous contact with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and other regulatory authorities.

“Our reservations and sales teams will continue to work closely with customers who are impacted by these cancellations.”

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Similarly, United has pushed back the expected return of the 737 MAX until November 3. This represented about 2,100 cancellations in September and 2,900 flights in October.

“We are continuing to work through the schedule to try and swap and upgauge aircraft to mitigate the disruption caused by the grounding of the MAX,” the airline said in a statement on Friday (US time).

An artist's impression of a Boeing 737 MAX 10 in United livery. (Boeing)
An artist’s impression of a Boeing 737 MAX 10 in United livery. (Boeing)
A file image of a United Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9. (Wikimedia Commons/Konstantin von Wedelstaedt)
A file image of a United Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9. (Wikimedia Commons/Konstantin von Wedelstaedt)

Regulators around the world grounded the global 737 MAX fleet following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March 2019.

Anti-stall software used on the 737 MAX, known as Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), has been implicated by investigators as a factor in the Ethiopian Airlines accident, as well as the earlier fatal crash of Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018.

Boeing has been working on a software update on MCAS.

However, the FAA said in June it had found a “potential risk” with Boeing’s fix that had to be addressed before the aircraft would be cleared to fly.

Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said it was working to address an additional flight condition to reduce pilot workload and ensure the safety of the aircraft.

Reports indicated it would take until at least September for Boeing to complete work on the issue that the FAA had identified.

In April, Boeing said it was slowing production of the 737 MAX to 42 aircraft a month, from a previous rate of 52 aircraft a month. Deliveries of the 737 MAX to airlines were also halted, leading to completed aircraft being parked at various airfields in North America as Boeing works to have the type cleared to fly.

Grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington State. (Wikimedia Commons/SounderBruce)
Grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington State. (Wikimedia Commons/SounderBruce)

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American Airlines extends Boeing 737 MAX cancellations until November Comment

  • erhreh

    says:

    AA still has about 30 MD80s that they’re supposed be retiring next month. I wonder if they’ll hang onto them to cover the MAX? Surely they’ve considered it? Though I would guess that the MD80 retirement dates were scheduled to take place just before heavy maintenance was due.

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